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Ibiza on tour | Planet Claire London

Friday 29 November at E1, London, UK.

Club-wise, Ibiza is on sabbatical now until early May 2020, with the exception of some wicked winter parties happening this December. However, the island's influence continues elsewhere in the world.

During the cool season, we bring you club reviews from Ibiza favourites at other party destinations from around the globe.

Launching earlier this summer to a welcome reception, Apollonia's party concept Planet Claire was set to make it first international stop. Destination: London.


Choosing to open midway through the competitive 2019 season, many assumed Octan Ibiza would be up against it. After management coerced Steve Lawler into bringing Warriors out of retirement, the bar was set for the club's next move. A big statement was needed.

What happened next was inspired.

Following years of rumours, Apollonia were unveiled to be the next residents fronting their own party. Having stolen the headlines guesting for other people's parties for years, the time had come for the Parisians to step-out on their own.

Planet Claire was the name, referencing the B52s track of the same name, we're unsure? The only thing certain was that Apollonia would shoot us into space and back again.

It would have been easy for Octan to hand them their own slot. But in a brave piece of programming, the club instead accommodated Planet Claire alongside Warriors on Sunday nights.

The two elements complemented each other well, as it turned out. Steve Lawler and co getting down and dirty in the Basement, while Apollonia played infectious rollers in the adjacent Lab. A recipe for success.

Sundays at Octan: Steve Lawler's Warriors had The Basement, while Apollonia controlled The Lab

Even after Warriors called it a wrap in mid August, Apollonia would continue riding the wave into late September.

It says much about how well-received the fledgling ten-week run was, that Apollonia have the confidence to take it on the road after season one. On the eve of December, Planet Claire would arrive in London for its first party away from Ibiza. E1 would be the destination.

Here's how things went down. A review in numbers.


E1

The two-digit, alphanumerical name East London's former Studio Spaces has been christened. The title of course references the area's postcode, but to London's underground clubbing community, it has come to represent so much more.

Since the rebrand and refurbishment, E1 has earned a reputation as one of the capital's most sought after event spaces. Managing to retain a sense of intimacy, despite its stark inner-city aesthetic, the venue is the perfect hybrid between a club and a warehouse.

Placing an onus on exceptional sound quality, it is a sanctuary for audiophiles and disco dwellers alike. Ear-protection highly recommended.


1,600

The official capacity of E1. Full to the brim on this night, as you might expect. London has long been a stronghold for Apollonia. The turnout was the latest indication that the fan base here is a devout one - not that we needed any more clarification after Junction 2 and fabric.

Spread between both rooms - the warehouse and the black studio - not everyone could squeeze into the main room at any given time. Thankfully, a strong support crew was on hand in room two to supply music of the highest order.

Traumer and Cristi Cons - two key names from Planet Claire's Ibiza campaign - were supplemented by a second trio, in Sentaku.


EIGHT

… as in hours - the length of time that Apollonia had to work with. Jumping onto the decks right from the word go at doors open, our hosts would take the dance floor on a journey.

Few multi-person acts excel in the all night long format as well as Apollonia. The extended set is a zone where they thrive.

During the summer, we were treated to two such occasions at Octan: once for the opening party and again for the closing. Both were highlights of the residency. Here, again, the collective showed why they are so adept.

Locking in their trademark groove and building the night from scratch, are there any better architects in the business?


Trois

… the French word for “three.” Our heroic trio once again proved they are a bunch of groovy cats. When Apollonia combine, Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom and Shonky are greater than the sum of their parts.

E1's impregnable Wall of Sound stacks were given a serious run out by the three-piece. Crisp, warm and operating at frequencies consciously undetectable, sound systems such as this were built for DJs like Apollonia. We hope we don't have long to wait for Apollonia's return to E1.


PHOTOGRAPHY | Mike Portlock

Apollonia's brief flirt with London has only served to whet the appetite for whatever 2020 brings. Nothing is confirmed at this stage. Although we sincerely hope that Planet Claire spaceship crash lands back on Ibiza.

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